ESPA pro­gram gets 300 mln eu­ros from EIB

Kathimerini English - - Focus - EVGENIA TZORTZI

Greece has signed a deal with the Euro­pean In­vest­ment Bank (EIB) for a 1-bil­lion-euro loan to sup­port the re­cov­ery of the coun­try’s econ­omy. The loan will cover Greece’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the 2014-20 Na­tional Strate­gic Ref­er­ence Frame­work (ESPA) pro­gram.

The agree­ment signed on Thurs­day pro­vides for 300 mil­lion eu­ros to be dis­bursed im­me­di­ately to be used to­ward out­stand­ing pay­ments in the 2007-14 ESPA pro­gram.

In a press re­lease, EIB Pres­i­dent Werner Hoyer said: “The EU Bank con­firms its sig­nif­i­cant com­mit­ment to Greece’s econ­omy. We re­mained ac­tive and strength­ened our role in the coun­try through­out the cri­sis.”

Around 50 mil­lion eu­ros from the pre­vi­ous loan agree­ment with the EIB, worth 2 bil­lion eu­ros in to­tal, is also be­ing put to­ward pay­ing for in­com­plete ESPA projects. Greece be­gan with a 25 per­cent con­tri­bu­tion rate when the ESPA pro­gram started, fall­ing to 5 per­cent dur­ing the cri­sis. The coun­try’s con­tri­bu­tion rate is cur­rently nil, which has se­ri­ously im­pacted the funds of the pro­gram.

Since the be­gin­ning of the cri­sis, the EIB has pro­vided loans of over 11 bil­lion eu­ros for projects in the coun­try. A par­al­lel pro­gram for highways worth around 240 mil­lion eu­ros is also run by the EIB.

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